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Dec 19, 2021 at 5pm UK
Nunez (3', 18'), Gilberto (34'), Silva (48'), Yaremchuk (57'), Ramos (86'), Seferovic (90+1')
Nunez (7')
FT(HT: 3-0)
Alipour (81')
Rossi (16'), Costa (45+1')

Preview: Benfica vs. Maritimo - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Benfica vs. Maritimo - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Primeira Liga clash between Benfica and Maritimo, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

In search of their fourth consecutive victory in all competitions, Benfica play host to Maritimo at the Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica in round 15 of the Primeira Liga on Sunday.

The visitors head into the game on a three-game unbeaten run and will be seeking to upset the hosts and grab successive wins for the first time this season.

Match preview

Benfica picked up their first win of the Taca da Liga campaign last Wednesday when they comfortably saw off Covilha 3-0 on home turf.

In a game where Nego Tembeng received his marching orders, Harris Seferovic netted in the 28th minute to hand the hosts a first-half lead before substitute Darwin Nunes scored a second-half break to make sure of the win.

Benfica now turn their attention to the Primeira Liga where they are third on the log, four points off Porto and Sporting Lisbon who are tied at the top of the pile, after claiming 34 points from their opening 14 outings.

After seeing their four-game unbeaten run come to an end courtesy of a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Sporting Lisbon on December 3, Jorge Jesus's side returned to winning ways in the league in their most recent outing as they edged out Famalicao 4-1 last Sunday.

Benfica's solid campaign so far has been down to their free-scoring attackers who boast the league's best record with 39 goals, and their stellar display on the road, where they have picked seven wins and one draw from eight outings.

Meanwhile, a rejuvenated Maritimo side returned to winning ways last Saturday when they saw off Santa Clara 4-1 at the Estadio do Maritimo.

After falling behind to Crysan's opening-minute strike, newly-appointed manager Vasco Seabra watched his side rally and turn the game on its head as they hit four consecutive goals through Joel Tagueu, Henrique, Matheus Costa and Rafik Guitane.

Prior to that, Maritimo ended their 10-game winless run with a 2-0 win over Pacos de Ferreira on November 28 before holding out for a 1-1 draw at Boavista six days later.

This upturn in form has seen O Maior das Ilhas rise to ninth place in the Primeira Liga standings, three points clear of the relegation places, after claiming 14 points from their opening 14 games.

While Maritimo will be looking to keep the ball rolling, next up is the daunting task of taking on an opposing side who have won 16 and lost just three of the last 20 encounters between the teams.

Benfica Primeira Liga form:
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

Benfica form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

Maritimo Primeira Liga form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W

Team News

Jesus will be unable to call upon the services of Brazilian defender Lucas Verissimo, who picked up a knee injury in November's game against Braga.

He is joined on the As Aguias' injury table by fellow countryman Rodrigo Pinho, who continues his long spell on the sidelines after sustaining a muscle problem back in September.

Nemanja Radonjic is also out of contention for the hosts after the Serbian midfielder picked up an injury in the game against Pacos de Ferreira on November 19.

With 11 goals and two assists under his belt in 12 appearances, Darwin Nunes has been crucial for Benfica this season and the 22-year-old will be one to look out for on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Xadas remains the only concern on the injury front for Maritimo after the Portuguese midfielder sustained a knee injury in November's game against Tondela.

However, they will be boosted by the return of veteran defender Zainadine Junior, who has served his one-game suspension after picking up a red card in the game against Boavista on December 4.

Following his side's dominant display in the win over Santa Clara last time out, Seabra could name a similar XI on Sunday, meaning we could see an attacking trio of Rafik Guitane, Joel Tagueu and Henrique.

Benfica possible starting lineup:
Vlachodimos; Almeida, Otamendi, Vertonghen; Gilberto, Weigl, Mario, Grimaldo; Silva, Nunez, Pizzi

Maritimo possible starting lineup:
Victor; China, Leo, Junior, Winck; Mendes, Beltrame; Costa; Guitane, Henrique, Tageue

We say: Benfica 2-0 Maritimo

After stumbling into the new season, where they managed just one win from their opening 11 games, Maritimo appear to have found their rhythm in recent weeks. However, to keep the ball rolling, they face the stern test of going up against a rampant Benfica side, who have proven to be solid all round this season. Given the gulf in class and quality between the two sides, we are backing As Aguias to come out victorious in this one.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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10Santa ClaraSanta Clara216692539-1424
12Pacos de FerreiraPacos de Ferreira214981524-921
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